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joseph ratzinger was touched by the charges of child abuse in the catholic church. bill: what happens next on the dates that are aren't? >> reporter: he's leaving february 28, 8:00 p.m. local time in rome. that leaves that very important vacancy and sets up a conclave of cardinals. vatican says by mid-march at the latest. vatican says we should have a new pope by esther sunday march 31. pope benedict will not take part in the conclave. usually a conclave happens after a pope dies. 1415 was the last time a pope quit in office. who is the next pope? he could come from developing areas of the world. it guarantees a lot of drama and a lot of black or white smoke coming from the roof is sistine chapel. march report concerns about the pope's health surfaced this past christmas eve. have it can watchers say he looked frail as he delivered the midnight mass. here he is riding in a motorized cart. the mass is moved up two hours to give the pope time to rest for the christmas day speech. he took the opportunity to urge peace in the middle east during the holidays and was looking rather frail at
's a great statement about the humility of joseph ratzinger, as he will become at the moment of his abdication once again. and in a strange way, this is his last great service to the church. he wants the church to have the kind of strong leadership that it needs. as i understand it, the process will unfold rather much like the process would unfold had the pope died except for the fact that the cardinals will obviously now be gathering in rome in the weeks before february 28th so that they can enter the conclave immediately on the abdication of the pope and begin the process of choosing his successor, which could take several days or several weeks. >> for those who are not familiar with this process, the papal conclave will be convened and require a tw-thirds majority among the cardinals to elect a successor? >> that's correct. and one thing about the timing of this that is interesting is that the college of cardinals is now just about as full as it can be. the maximum number of the electors is set at 120. i think we're almost there right now. so, this will be the largest conclave in
. what has struck me in the 25 years i have known the man who will return to being joseph ratzinger, is the simplicity of his soul. this is a thoroughly convinced christian believer who happens to be one of the smartest people in the world who speaks six or seven languages with complete flewency, who knows the history of biblical religion from "a" to "z." who never wanted to be an executive, a manager, who always thought of himself primarily as a scholar. but who somehow could translate all of that learning into beautiful simplicities about god's love for the world and for god's people. >> and, george, even as we honor the service of this pope, we look forward to the election of a new pope. and tell us about this process. i mean, is this a sort of thing where, for lack of a better term, there are front-runners? >> there will be an enormous amount of ink spilled in the italian press over the next two weeks about front-runners. most of that would be silly. there are a number of cardinals who fit what would seem to me to be the profile. first of all, a man in full physical vigor. that
Search Results 0 to 3 of about 4 (some duplicates have been removed)